NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) 20140012489: Ecological Impacts of the Space Shuttle Program at John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Publication date 2014-01-01
Topics NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS), ENVIRONMENTAL SURVEYS, ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION, ENVIRONMENT MANAGEMENT, ECOLOGY, SPACE SHUTTLES, NASA SPACE PROGRAMS, RESOURCES MANAGEMENT, FIRES, AIR QUALITY, RAINSTORMS, VEGETATION, SOILS, Hall, Carlton R., Schmalzer, Paul A., Breininger, David R., Duncan, Brean W., Drese, John H., Scheidt, Doug A., Lowers, Russ H., Reyier, Eric A., Holloway-Adkins, Karen G., Oddy, Donna M., Cancro, Naresa R., Provancha, Jane A., Foster, Tammy E., Stolen, Eric D.,
The Space Shuttle Program was one of NASAs first major undertakings to fall under the environmental impact analysis and documentation requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). Space Shuttle Program activities at John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the associated Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR) contributed directly and indirectly to both negative and positive ecological trends in the region through the long-term, stable expenditure of resources over the 40 year program life cycle. These expenditures provided support to regional growth and development in conjunction with other sources that altered land use patterns, eliminated and modified habitats, and contributed to cultural eutrophication of the Indian River Lagoon. At KSC, most Space Shuttle Program related actions were conducted in previously developed facilities and industrial areas with the exception of the construction of the shuttle landing facility (SLF) and the space station processing facility (SSPF). Launch and operations impacts were minimal as a result of the low annual launch rate. The majority of concerns identified during the NEPA process such as potential weather modification, acid rain off site, and local climate change did not occur. Launch impacts from deposition of HCl and particulates were assimilated as a result of the high buffering capacity of the system and low launch and loading rates. Metals deposition from exhaust deposition did not display acute impacts. Sub-lethal effects are being investigated as part of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulatory process. Major positive Space Shuttle Program effects were derived from the adequate resources available at the Center to implement the numerous environmental laws and regulations designed to enhance the quality of the environment and minimize impacts from human activities. This included reduced discharges of domestic and industrial wastewater, creation of stormwater management systems, remediation of past contamination sites, implementation of hazardous waste management systems, and creation of a culture of sustainability. Working with partners such as the USFWS and the St Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), wetlands and scrub restoration and management initiatives were implemented to enhance fish and wildlife populations at the Center. KSC remains the single largest preserve on the east coast of Florida in part due to NASAs commitment to stewardship. Ongoing Ecological Program projects are directed at development of information and knowledge to address future KSC management questions including the transition to a joint government and commercial launch facility, enhanced habitat management requirements for wetlands and scrub, potential impacts of emerging contaminants, and adaptation to climate change including projected sea level rise over the next 50-75 years.
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